The Bear Ladies
Hampshire Life|November 2020
Julie Tatchel and Amanda Middleditch from Bear It In Mind in Hythe regularly have viewers in tears with their bear restorations on the BBC hit show, The Repair Shop
Sandra Smith
“About three and a half years ago I had a phone call from someone saying they were a researcher putting together a new show and were we interested in taking part? It sounded too good to be true – I didn’t believe a word. Then I went online and discovered it was real, and they wanted us! We did a pilot series and haven’t looked back since.”

As viewers of The Repair Shop are aware, the vibrant Julie Tatchell is one half of a duo which includes Amanda Middleditch, together affectionately known as the Bear Ladies, whose precious teddy bear restoration skills are regularly admired on this increasingly popular series.

Speaking from their Hythe premises where they fix all manner of injuries from limbs that have gone adrift to missing eyes or mauling by a family pet, Amanda recalls their early challenges in the 300-year-old Weald and Downland Living Museum barn.

“Getting used to working in front of a camera was initially terrifying. But we now know the crew and everybody is so friendly. There’s a lot of coordinating that goes on; we have a sewing machine there but take all our needles and threads with us.”

“We are part of the original gang,” Julie continues, “and they parachute in other experts. There’s a lot of research. Members of the public have to submit an application and send photographs, which researchers go through looking for something that will fit the show.”

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